Tortoise was upside down in water

Sydgeo21

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I came home from work today and my tortoise was upside down in his water. Have no idea how he managed this. He also pooped in his water probably from being stressed and scared. I got him out and he’s lethargic. His entire head was not under water but his head was very wet. Visually okay it seems. He whistled a little when he breathed but that’s going down now a lot. I gave him a little food and he ate it up. So he’s acting okay just lethargic. I’m worried he may have aspirated water, he’s making this chirping noise, which sounds like he is rubbing his beak together which he’s made this noise before but he keeps doing it now. I took a video of the noise but it won’t let me post a video unfortunately. How do I know if he has aspirated water
 

Ink

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They can slip on the ceramic. Use a clay saucer for plants. What are the temperatures in his/her enclosure?
 

Sydgeo21

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Mid 80s and a basking platform of about 95. He is basking right now. I have a big clay one for his main water dish but the ceramic one I had on the cool end more for the plants l. But I just took it out and am just going to use the clay ones I have
 

Sydgeo21

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They can slip on the ceramic. Use a clay saucer for plants. What are the temperatures in his/her enclosure?
I also haven’t heard the chirping noise now for maybe like 10 minutes he’s just basking now
 

Lyn W

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What a fright!
What species and age is he?
He's probably exhausted trying to right himself and with his lungs being just under the top of his carapace his other organs were probably pressing on them. I'm glad he seems OK and I think I would keep him warm too but make sure you use a thermostat with your che so he doesn't get too hot and over heat.
I hope one of the more experienced members come along to advise you soon. I'll also tag @zovick for you.
 
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Lyn W

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Mid 80s and a basking platform of about 95. He is basking right now. I have a big clay one for his main water dish but the ceramic one I had on the cool end more for the plants l. But I just took it out and am just going to use the clay ones I have
Yes, plant saucers have better traction and the gently sloping shallow sides are safer. If you sink it level with the surface of the substrate it will be easier to access and exit. Maybe a smaller saucer just big enough for him to self soak will be safer than a big saucer
(I just edited my last post}
 

Sydgeo21

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Yes, plant saucers have better traction and the gently sloping shallow sides are safer. If you sink it level with the surface of the substrate it will be easier to access and exit. Maybe a smaller saucer just big enough for him to self soak will be safer than a big saucer
(I just edited my last post}
Yes this is what I do for his big clay one. Which this is the one he normally uses because it’s big enough for him to get in and out of easily. He’s never tried to get in that other water bowl before but I guess he got curious today
 

Lyn W

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Yes this is what I do for his big clay one. Which this is the one he normally uses because it’s big enough for him to get in and out of easily. He’s never tried to get in that other water bowl before but I guess he got curious today
Torts will be torts, but at least you know he found a hazard and removed it.
 

Sydgeo21

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What a fright!
What species and age is he?
He's probably exhausted trying to right himself and with his lungs being just under the top of his carapace his other organs were probably pressing on them. I'm glad he seems OK and I think I would keep him warm too but make sure you use a thermostat with your che so he doesn't get too hot and over heat.
I hope one of the more experienced members come along to advise you soon. I'll also tag @zovick for you.
He is a hermann tortoise I’m not 100% sure of age (he’s a rescue) but if I had to guess he’s almost full grown so about 8-10 years old?? He seems to have calmed his breathing now and is snoozing under his heat. I’m going to leave him alone for the night and gradually check on him and see how he is in the morning.
 

Sydgeo21

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Can you photograph your current water bowl so that it can be determined if that was the cause of the flip.
It sounds to me like he's going to be OK.
Let him rest
I think he was climbing on his hide and flipped over into his water dish after I was trying to figure out how he did that. He climbs on everything, he’s an adventurous tort. I hope he’s okay, he seems better now. I just wasn’t sure how long he had been like that, and I didn’t know how to tell if he got water in his lungs. Especially since it was poopy water too.
His hide is a half dome log that he loves. He sleeps under it at night but he likes to climb on top of it which is annoying.
 

Sarah2020

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Hi fingers crossed he will be ok. It is a fright to find them. I know what you mean about the 1/2 log as speedy loves his and goes over and round again. Best to avoid that bowl again.
 

TammyJ

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The clay pot saucers are ideal for water pools. If they flip over in them, then flipping back over should not be impossible, as it would be in a smooth ceramic dish. Glad he seems ok.
 

ZEROPILOT

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Dig out (scoop out) the substrate from the inside of that half log and then bury the whole thing a few inches down into the substrate. This way he can still hide and sleep inside of it but it won't be as high and won't be such a flip hazard
 

Sydgeo21

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Dig out (scoop out) the substrate from the inside of that half log and then bury the whole thing a few inches down into the substrate. This way he can still hide and sleep inside of it but it won't be as high and won't be such a flip hazard
Thank you for the advice, I will dig his hide deeper in the substrate. He’s a digger also so he loves digging himself into corners and burying himself. This morning he still visually seems okay. He ate almost all his food this morning right away. He still seems lethargic a little he went right back to sleep after eating. My vet isn’t open until Monday so I’m hoping by Monday he will be back to his wild self. I never thought I’d say I hope he starts climbing and getting into everything again soon. But I hate how lethargic he is. It worries me, but I’m glad he’s eating still.
 

ZEROPILOT

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Thank you for the advice, I will dig his hide deeper in the substrate. He’s a digger also so he loves digging himself into corners and burying himself. This morning he still visually seems okay. He ate almost all his food this morning right away. He still seems lethargic a little he went right back to sleep after eating. My vet isn’t open until Monday so I’m hoping by Monday he will be back to his wild self. I never thought I’d say I hope he starts climbing and getting into everything again soon. But I hate how lethargic he is. It worries me, but I’m glad he’s eating still.
Save the vet money.
As long as he's eating and getting re hydrated, he'll be fine.
That was extremely stressful
 

Sue Ann

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Hi fingers crossed he will be ok. It is a fright to find them. I know what you mean about the 1/2 log as speedy loves his and goes over and round again. Best to avoid that bowl again.
I had a half log for Dexter and he 🥰 it but Dexter is 4 1/2 yrs old now and is a Sulcata. Now 37 pounds! But before he got that big he was in a 55 gal aquarium inside. He threw a tantrum when I removed it and would try to shove himself inside. I even built up the sides to make it 4 inches taller but he finally got too wide and moved outside.
His new yard is 140x40 with a 5x4 heated house.
 

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